A friend left these bulbs in a beautiful little pot on my porch at Christmas. I have a hard time keeping any kind of plant alive, and for the first week or so, I simply ignored them. Finally, the bulbs impinged on my consciousness like a puppy left on my doorstep. What would I feed them? How would I keep them alive? What the hell should I do? The bulbs were a great weight on my mind, an adult responsibility I felt inadequate to meet. Finally, I scooped some loose potting soil I’d dumped in my yard into the pot, jammed the bulbs into it and put it in a windowsill. Given the most inadequate rough care, it seemed the bulbs were doomed never to bloom. Eventually, stubby green stems emerged, but they seemed stunted and crouched down, curling in on themselves as if they had low leaf-esteem. Still, I began adding a bit more soil, watering the bulbs every morning and rotating the pot to catch the light before I left for work. Gradually the stems straightened, reached upward and grew like a magic beanstalk. As I watched this little grow-show every day, I realized that I often starve hope in myself so that I won’t be disappointed. I don’t reach for things I might want because what if I lose them somewhere down the road? What if unblooming is easier and safer than bursting through that tough outer skin into sharp green longing? Hope always involves a cosmic risk, a 50/50 flirt with the universe, but even if we only spread our wings for one brief spring-like moment, isn’t it worth it?